I went to that clinic with a dream and Tommy's made it happen

Mirian Fernandez, 37, suffered 5 miscarriages before she gave birth to her daughter. She believes that the Tommy’s clinic in Coventry made her dream of motherhood a reality. Mirian lives in Spain with husband David, 38, and Alana, 21 months.

Our first devastating losses

We married in 2013 and the next year I fell pregnant for the first time. It wasn’t planned but we were over the moon. 

It was around 7 weeks when I found some blood but I didn’t think anything of it. I had no idea what miscarriage was then.

The bleeding became heavier so I went to A&E where they told us there was no baby. I didn’t know what that meant, didn’t think that was even a possibility. 

That first loss was emotionally devastating. I was in shock and it took some time before I was ready to try again. I was afraid it could happen again.

That whole 8 years between the first miscarriage and my daughter being born I was afraid.

I can’t remember the dates when I got pregnant the second and third times. I do know that, after the second time, I went to my GP who explained they couldn’t do anything to help until I’d had a third miscarriage

The third time we talked and, feeling there was a high chance it would happen again, we tried to be more rational, less hopeful. We booked a private scan where they told us it looked like I was going to miscarry again. I did.

But, crucially, it was the midwife at that private clinic who recommended Professor Quenby and Tommy’s. My GP referred me and I got an appointment within a few months.

Referral to Tommy’s

I remember feeling really comforted by her, reassured because she knew what she was doing, because she told us there were many things we could check, many things we could try. I left that appointment feeling more confident and less alone.

They took bloods to check for conditions that they were trialling and I came back positive for factor V Leiden, a clotting disorder, so became part of a Tommy’s trial, taking Clexane.

When I fell pregnant again just months later, in 2020, I had far more faith. I took the Clexane and progesterone, took all my vitamins and everything was great.

Covid meant I had to go for my 12-week scan without my husband but I felt positive as I laid on the bed. There was an awkward silence then the doctor turned to me and said she was sorry, but there was no heartbeat. Nothing prepares you for that.

I feel so silly now but I asked her when the heartbeat would come back. I was in denial, asked them to check again which they did but there was still no heartbeat.

The Tommy’s midwife was my rock. I remember her feeling bad because Covid meant she couldn’t hug me. I went out to the parking lot to tell my husband then went back in to be told what the procedure would be. If I didn’t miscarry naturally in the next few weeks, I’d need to return.

It was the worse couple of weeks of my life, doing normal things but constantly thinking that my baby was inside me but she was dead. Every day was torture, just waiting. And I was terrified that I’d see her when she came out of me.

It didn’t happen, they had to remove the baby and I thank God for that because I couldn’t have handled it myself at home.

I had to with the next one. I hadn’t known I was pregnant, I wonder if I hadn’t started the progesterone soon enough. I went home one day from work feeling not right and was alone when I miscarried. I saw everything which was incredibly traumatising.

Searching for answers

They’d already investigated after my fourth loss and found the baby had a genetic disorder. I managed to save some clots after my fifth but they couldn’t tell me anymore.

I went on another trial for chronic endometritis, a prolonged mild endometrial inflammation, which they thought I had but tell me it’s difficult to confirm. At that point I still had faith because Tommy’s explained everything in a way that made sense and I knew their success rate.

I knew I had to try again but there was a part of me asking myself how many more losses I could cope with. I knew that, scientifically, having a baby was an eventual possibility but also knew that I couldn’t cope with the loss and felt this would be my last try.

When you’re going through this, your life is on hold. You can’t make plans, I had to leave work. It consumes everything. So I started to think it was maybe time for me to prepare myself for not being a mother.

I got pregnant the sixth time in 2021 and I went straight onto progesterone and Clexane but without too much hope. I quit my job and focused on healing my mind. Every day felt like a success, every positive scan also, but I was constantly worried. There’s not a single day you can just relax. It wasn’t until I held her in my arms, until I heard her cry that I felt I could breathe out again.

She arrived by emergency c-section, she cried out and all the tension of the last 8 years went away. The pain never goes away but does become a little easier to bear.

Why Tommy’s work matters

Tommy’s trials are vital, the key to making these ground-breaking changes for women. They provide evidence around miscarriage that can be applied to other women, sparing them the pain I went through.

Without Tommy’s trial, their help, their strength and support, I wouldn’t be a mother. They are absolutely the reason that Alana is here and it’s hard to put into words the gratitude I feel, it’s overwhelming. 

I went to that clinic with a dream. I remember seeing the Thank You cards, pictures of babies they’d help bring into the world and hoping that would be me. Tommy’s made it happen.

I hope my story gives hope to other women. You need the science, the support, but you also need hope and that’s very hard to hang onto through loss.